The Coalition’s Slashing of Public Service Funding
The Public Service sector funding has emerged as a heated last-minute issue – two days prior to the federal election – with major parties sharing polarised views on the topic. Approaching the closing stages of the federal election campaign, the Morrison government has pledged to cut $1.5 billion from the public service sector in constructing the final budget costings for the year, effectively eliminating over 3000 jobs. While the Labor government has criticized the Liberal government for releasing their costings just two days prior to the election, one week after Labor; Finance Minister and Senator Mathias Cormann has claimed that their costings have displayed a “very frugal” approach to election commitments.
Despite the Coalition’s plan to deduct $4 billion from the budget bottom line, which was originally committed to building the East West Link in Melbourne, the Coalition has made structural changes to their budget costings. Headlining such budget changes has been a promised delivery of $45.1 billion in cumulative surpluses to 2023, amidst a general slowdown in the economy. Nonetheless, the shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has expressed views that the Labor party may also offer “bigger budget surpluses, with more investment in health and education, fairer taxes” without the funding slash across public services.
Nonetheless, the Coalition has proposed their own merits regarding structural budget changes, stating that their efficiency dividend for government departments have improved drastically; being $600 million less than Labor’s announced cuts in the public services sector alone. Subsequently, the government has claimed that their costings will ensure that public sector remains “as efficient, productive, effective and responsive to community needs as possible.” However, the $1.5 billion in initial cuts from public services have been received with varying degrees of discomfort from critics alike. Labor MP Andrew Leigh has voiced his opinion on the subjecting, claiming that the Liberal party is “decimating the public service” with “massive cuts in the future.”
Greens Senate candidate Penny Kyburg has also targeted Coalition funding slashes as an “appalling attack” on public services, condemning the late announcement to be a “continued disregard for Canberra and the hard working public servants who are struggling to fulfil their remits with ever dwindling resources.” The prolonged release of the Liberal party’s budget costings has raised serious questions on the transparency of the Morrison government’s policies, with over 4 million pre-poll votes already being cast prior to the announcement.
Click here for a 7 days access to our Lotus Blue Portal.